Cutting-edge scientific research often flourishes along the intersections of traditional scientific disciplines. Nowhere is this more evident than along the boundaries of mathematics, computer science, and the biological and physical sciences. Twenty-first century Biology depends increasingly on data, algorithms, and models;in virtually every aspect, it is becoming more quantitative (Q), more computational (C), and more mathematical. Our proposal is based on the philosophy that Q&C skills are best mastered when they are used repeatedly in different areas of biological and behavioral sciences. Our plan makes Q&C a common thread that is woven throughout the undergraduate curriculum. This repeated exposure will enable students to appreciate how pervasive Q&C is throughout the sciences and will result in greater ability and comfort of students to apply these skills in new situations. All elements of our Phase II proposal originated from findings and recommendations of the Q&C Science Steering Committee as a result of Phase I activities. The Committee consisted of one tenured / tenure-track faculty from each of the six participating departments (Biology, Chemistry/Biochemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics, and Psychology). The CSUSM MARC Phase II Program has six major goals that include: (1) Implement a modern, interdisciplinary Q&C curriculum that prepares undergraduate science majors for the challenges and careers in the 21st century;(2) Empower all science majors to be scientific problem solvers through the use of appropriate Q&C knowledge and skills;(3) Ensure smooth articulation of Q&C-enhanced lower-division science and math courses between the local community colleges and CSUSM;(4) Enhance the Q&C sophistication of MARC Scholars in their coursework and research;(5) Foster interdisciplinary teaching and research projects among math, computer science, and science faculty;and (6) Disseminate successful curricular changes. Our approach is comprehensive, introducing Q&C skills in large enrollment introductory courses in mathematics, chemistry, physics, and biology, and progressing all the way into special topics senior courses. Our plan ensures sustainability and improvement in Q&C integration well after the 5-year funding period. Our evaluation plan provides measurable objectives and assessment criteria for each project goal using formative and summative evaluation. The national MARC Phase II Program's goal and the CSUSM strategic plan are in excellent alignment. The regional minority population growth, the campus commitment to diversity, the success of the current MARC Program and the Phase I Planning Project, the pedagogical expertise of our faculty, the experience of the program director, the existing MBRS SCORE, RISE, and Bridges Programs, and new science buildings equipped with modern scientific instruments and powerful instructional resources collectively make CSUSM an ideal location to operate a successful MARC Phase II Program.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
MARC Ancillary Training Activities (Grant) (NIGMS) (T36)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZGM1-MARC-0 (CD))
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Sesma, Michael A
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California State University San Marcos
Schools of Arts and Sciences
San Marcos
United States
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